Red, burgundy, and purple okra varieties are extra pretty in the garden.
Okra is a southern staple crop for several reasons. The tasty podded vegetable thrives in heat and even drought, and it is so easy to grow. Newer varieties are more tender, prolific, and lack painful spines. As an added bonus, you can let the pods mature and become woody at the end of the […]
In Europe, people have long celebrated the unique flavors of gooseberries and their colorful relatives, currants. Children drink Ribena and adults enjoy kir cocktails, both made with black currants. At breakfast, many people spread red currant jelly on their toast. Later in the day, they may enjoy a gooseberry fool, an old-fashioned dessert made with sweetened gooseberries, cream, and custard.
Fruitful European gooseberries (Ribes uva-crispa, USDA […]
As flowering plants, most perennials are a mixed blessing. To their credit, they produce some of the garden’s signature blooms, on plants that return reliably year after year. What would spring be without primroses and trilliums, or summer without bee-balm and black-eyed Susans, or fall without asters and Japanese anemones?
Seasonality of bloom does have its downside, however. Many perennials are as fleeting as they are […]
Ornamental vegetables look pretty when planted in tidy, geometric arrangements.
The traditional French potager, or kitchen garden, combined both edible and ornamental elements to create beds that were both beautiful and productive. Given the array of fruit, vegetable, and herb varieties available now, just about anyone can do the same thing.
Long-stemmed roses grown for their big, lush blooms are hybrid tea roses. They are noted for their open, upright habits, and long-stemmed roses, which are ideal for cutting. Earlier in the 20th Century, these were the most popular roses for gardens, but times have changed. Now, they are underplanted, relative to popular shrub, grandiflora, and floribunda roses, which are denser and flower-covered. Hybrid tea blooms […]
Cowslips are easy-care European native wildflowers that lend a cottage-garden look to spring beds.
Primroses (known botanically as Primula) have a reputation for being garden prima donnas. Often, this characterization is deserved. Many Primula are fussy garden dwellers at best, hailing from specialized habitats such as alpine crevices and glacial screes. Don’t let this fact keep you from the numerous easily cultivated and highly rewarding members […]
Dividing perennials allows you to share them with friends or move them to new garden spaces.
In the time of Roman Emperor Julius Caesar, “divide and conquer” was a battlefield technique that defeated the Emperor’s enemies and expanded the Roman Empire. You can expand your own empire—or at least your supply of ornamental plants—by dividing mature clumps of perennials. […]
Tomatoes are America’s favorite garden vegetable (technically fruit). That’s why each year there are loads of tomato taste tests across the country. I have reviewed several of these taste tests to identify the best-tasting tomatoes among them. I also used taste tests conducted at universities and other horticultural institutions. This list comprises the 10 tomatoes that rise to the top, […]
Joe-Pye weed, purple coneflower, pale pink Culver’s root, and flowering sedums are all summer-to-fall-blooming perennial powerhouses.
Perennials are garden workhorses that save money by returning yearly, but most do not bloom nonstop. That’s why seasonality is an essential design factor when creating perennial gardens. Designing a beautiful bed with seamless seasonal appeal takes a little skill and knowledge, and it all […]
With the arrival of good weather, most of us who dig in the dirt want to spend as much time as possible doing it. Life sometimes has other ideas. Jobs, families, housekeeping, and annoying little chores like filing tax returns tend to interfere. The only way to confront those realities and make your garden grow is to create a “survival […]
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